Case Study – Traffic Generation Cafe
If you’ve been wandering around in this category where we talk about things that are solely for webmasters, you might already have learned that killer websites are not built by just getting domains and plotting products on them. Ana Hoffman from traffic generation cafe is our proof. Her website is the case study for today’s episode. She is an inspiration to all those looking to make a successful website business from home. Ana is not only busy with her blog, but she also knows her responsibilities in life. So what did she do about it? She actually comes up with a plan to coordinate between generating her stellar website content and her real life. As you can clearly see, she’s gorgeous. She’s every man’s dream. But even better, she’s smart. I know she is from the way she lays things down in her posts. She blogs like a million dollar and she doesn’t even realize it. Today’s case study, is all about how Ana Hoffman made it with TGC to a killer website status using her pure genuine intent to give something back to the community. Are you ready to learn from her? Then here goes.
No Webdesign .. No Authority
I’ve said it over and over till it became a broken record; if you think you can get away with a crappy looking layout, think again. Spammers are very good at falling into this trap. I mastered the skill of identifying a spam website with just a 4-second look at the homepage. Those guys – spammers – lose credibility instantly each time their website is put to manual test. It doesn’t matter if this test was made by spam detecting teams, advertisers, investors or potential partners. In all cases, they will get the X mark drawn on their backs. And the effort they spent on actually creating content for the site goes in vain. With Ana, it’s the exact opposite. She believes in great design. She believes in good user experience. She knows that readers are people like you and me who have eyes that like to stay around beautiful views. It’s our nature. She knows the psychology effect of a good looking website. Let’s see how she breaks down her web page.
In the header section. She has a wide header consisting of her epic logo and her pretty personal photo. Just underneath them, there lies more than a dozen of her community friends. This not only gives new comers the feel of the warm community style, but it also ensures the impression that this website has something to give to social readers. This type of readers are targeted because they are the hardest to maintain as returning visitors. Although they are the least to buy products, they still can create a huge buzz on your brand. This type of visitors can browse tons of sites per day. You have to give them a good reason to come back to YOUR site. So she used design to make things clearly social. Make sure you regularly read her blog, who knows, you might end up in her header friend photo list.
Right below the header, there are only two sections: Sidebar and content, giving a room for actual content that is double the size of the sidebar section. Easy on the eye. Now let’s see how she utilizes the one and only sidebar in a way that should highly increase her website performance.
Subscription is almost everything
Some people don’t know how to bookmark your website. And because Ana Hoffman knows the power of returning loyal visitors. She dealt with it using an obvious subscription-by-Email widget box on the right side bar, just below the header. She’s not only using it to build loyal readership but she’s also using it to give frequent value to these readers. Some bloggers like myself believe in NOT selling your readers anything on Email until at least the 10th Email. On my money sites, I don’t try to promote anything to people unless I stumble upon something really good. And because that doesn’t happen often, my emails have more info meals and less Clikbank affiliate links.
Money can come later, readers don’t come back again if you scare them away. And Traffic Generation Cafe is a great example of a useful blog to subscribe to. Lesson learned: Never neglect the importance of having a subscribing option that is really, I mean really, visible to your visitors. But don’t create it until you have something good to send to your reader inbox. Whenever you get tempted to believe you can sell them a product on each and every Email, just remind yourself that money doesn’t fall off of trees.
Right below her subscription widget, there lies the testimonial from some of the best bloggers around. With this, not only she’s implying authority and credibility but she’s also passively introducing you to people who know their $h!t very well.
After those two widgets, everything from here is up to you to plot onto the sidebar. Because down from here people will need to scroll down. You can use your social widgets, your best performing products, your short notes, your latest offers or even your latest tweets.
On a side note, I just think it would be a better idea if she would move up her “web traffic tutorials” all the way to the top or right underneath her subscription widget. This would ensure great page views for those well-written posts.
Treating content like a million dollar business
Ana Hoffman is one of those people who treat their each post as a business. A post should build a reputation. It should show effort being done in the process. It also Should provide value. She declares that if you’re not spending from 8-10 hours creating a single post, then you’re not doing it right and most likely your work won’t be shared with the world. There is a certain truth to that. Think about it, why not treat your upcoming post as your day job? You would accomplish a lot more with 8-10 hours of working on a good post than what you could accomplish in your office work.
I’m serious, that’s the beauty of working online anyway. You put the same effort into it within the same time frame, and eventually you perform 200% better. And in some investing venues like trading online, you can even perform 1000% better utilizing as half as the time spent in office. It’s the revolutionary power of internet you guys. Put it to work. Make Ana your role model on this one particularly. She knows how to make a great post. She puts illustrative graphs when needed, she also shares related videos. She backs up her data with posts from other reputable writers and experts on her field. And she shares related useful resources by linking out to their original pages. She provides a whole package in one post. If you really have a hard time writing good lengthy posts, you need Ana on this one. Visit her blog and learn how she divides her content into sections and how she organizes her points.
Sharing your experience publicly is worth tons of visitors
TGC blog is all about sharing experience with the reader. Ana Hoffman tells them flat out how she promotes her content and she’s not afraid of them replicating it. Come to think of it, why would she be? Worst case scenario is she’s going to have her friends as competitors in the same niche. Would you rather share first page on Google with a bunch of stubborn competitors or share it with loyal friends? If 10 of your readers rank for the same niche you rank in and all of you snatch the first page, there’s nothing stopping you all from practically dominating this thing together by helping each other out. It’s another powerful impact of having a community around your blog. Lesson learned: Share your experience and don’t let it scare you. It pays off more than if you keep it to yourself.
Think about your website visitors as if they’re real people coming to your offline events. Do you have something good to give them or are they going to leave in a few minutes after a quick peak? That’s what Ana handles very well. She knows the power of sharing something important. She updates her readers with latest news in the industry. She keeps it brief and she doesn’t bore them with unrelated stuff. She knows that readers come to her blog looking for tips to increase their traffic so she builds her whole blog around that. No “I fixed my hair last night” type of posts. She’s a professional writer whether she believes it or not.
Let people know who you are
They will relate to you. Do you know why Google ranks people with complete Google+ profiles and photos? Because they’re deemed real people, not just another geek hiding behind their monitor screen trying to extract a quick buck out of your clicks. This is the future of search engine ranking by the way. And Ana talks about it extensively in her blog. She believes that your social profile is very important nowadays. Especially your Google+ profile if you’re thinking to ever rank in Google search. Now don’t get me wrong, people who know me realize that I’m not into social chasing, but that doesn’t mean Ana Hoffman is wasting too much time chasing social traffic either, she in fact lets that traffic come to her by locking her best content for those who share her posts on their social profiles. A great strategy if you ask me.
Let people relate to your stories, don’t over-do it or start bragging about your success in an obvious way but just talk as a friend to them. Mention some of your readers in your tweets or better yet in your blog posts. For me, although I never even thought of building MedoJoe.com up until Novemebr 2012 due to having more than enough other old sites to maintain, and although I then had to start writing more frequently for MedoJoe.com starting just this May, and although I still find it normal that it barely has audience that interacts with posts, I still would like to thank those who rated the blog overall performance. But having reader interaction is a must. However, in my case, I still write as if millions of people are going to interact on the very post I’m writing. Because someday, you know, there will be people reading it and you bet your sweet tooshy they should like what they’re reading. But we’re not here to talk about me so, on to the next one.
Don’t be afraid of offering products
It doesn’t matter if your blog has great readership. If you’re scared to monetize it, then blog away! and leave us the real deal. Ana is not afraid of showcasing the best performing products in her industry. I mean come on, if you know that your reader will spend some cash to get a useful tool, while you get paid and the vendor of that product gets paid, isn’t this a win-win-win situation? Don’t be scared. Monetize your blog that you’ve spent countless hours on building, just do it the right way: By offering only products you would use yourself.
I for one was glad to use her link to buy CommentLuv Premium Plugin and I was happy she allowed me to catch the lifetime free updates offer before it ends. If I couldn’t have found her affiliate link, I may have never been able to catch that offer again. And now that I have it setup on my blog, I’m very satisfied with its powerful features. I now can include my own affiliate link as well – I just did by the way – for other webmasters to buy it through me. Things like these help bloggers out, so don’t feel guilty to get paid for helping your audience.
Your readers will not think any less of you if you help them snatch a good product. They will only lose faith in you if you throw useless cr@p at their faces every two days. How about you navigate through Ana’s blog and see how she utilizes the best products in her industry within closely related posts and replicate the process in your industry as well? How about you learn how she incorporates these products smoothly within content in a way that don’t put her visitors off? You go right ahead and read more and more of her posts. There are some gems in there.
I apologize if this was too long. I think it was worth it though. In final words, Ana Hoffman did NOT ask me to talk about her in my blog but I just did. Why?
Coz I fricken’ can!
But seriously she has a lot from which you can learn. I hope all of you a great online website career. And until next case study, stay blogging.